Ask Avery: Vest in show
blog by Avery Hartmans • August 30, 2013 @ 9:33am
I’ve been really into denim vests lately. Is there a right way and a wrong way to wear them? I don’t want to look dated, overly trendy or basically just stupid in any way.
The short answer to your question is no, there isn’t a wrong way to wear a denim vest. Try to think of your denim vest like a denim jacket: it’s simple, versatile and goes with everything, but also really wants to show off your biceps.
A denim vest adds dimension to anything it’s paired with. A super-simple t-shirt dress gets re-vamped with the addition of a denim vest and maybe some ankle booties. A pair of leggings and a long sweater will become instantly edgier if you throw that vest on top. Basically, there’s no limit to what a denim vest can be paired with. Except maybe more denim.
Option No. 1: Ladylike
You’re right about denim vests potentially looking dated, but that’s the beauty of them. Denim vests make me think of the late 80s/early 90s and how my entire childhood wardrobe seemed to be floral print, pale pink and covered with bows.
Take the Laura Ashley vibe to the next level by pairing your vest with all things feminine: a pink pencil skirt with teeny tiny polka dots, a floral t-shirt and feminine nude sandals. A forest green doctor bag will add an unexpected pop of color so you won’t become a wallflower.
Option No. 2: Edgy
Anyone who wasn’t wearing ballet flats in the early 90s was probably really dark and twisty and loved Kurt Cobain. In honor of the grunge era, wear your denim vest like a total badass: with leather biker pants and a silk camisole that definitely would have been approved by Kate Moss in her Calvin Klein days.
To add a modern spin on this ensemble, pair it with chunky studded sandals and a lucite clutch. Just be sure that you don’t bring too much extra cash out on the town, otherwise you’re basically asking to be mugged.
Option No. 3: Boho
The best thing about denim vests is definitely their versatility: one minute you can look like a biker babe, the next like a total flower child. In true hippie form, be sure to make your denim vest out of a recycled jacket — mine may or may not have once been a child’s size Gap jacket from when I was 10 — and fray it to perfection.
To pull of the boho look, pair your vest with a white maxi skirt and an extra low-cut, thin gray tank. For well-endowed girls, it’s best to wear a lacy bralet or camisole underneath to avoid looking like you really believe in the whole “free love” thing. Top this look off with brown strappy sandals and a bright suede tote and you’ve nailed it.
Photo courtesy of Flickr / Joe St. Pierre.